The other day, I had the pleasure of meeting Fiifi Baidoo and Josiah Eyison of iSpace Ghana. iSpace is an idea of bringing together the tech community, social entrepreneurs and related folks, like bloggers in Ghana. iSpace is also an amazing space on the fifth floor of a building between the buzzing Oxford street in Osu and the La Beach, it offers lovely views and – by the end of this month – office, meeting and lounging spaces for the community.
Clockwise from “noon”: a view of the full space with assistant Dorcas at the front, Josiah at the conference room glass wall, view(!), me flanked by the iSpace guys and in the middle Josiah describing the plan and Fiifi listening.
I walked away from our first meeting impressed by the vision (“in two years we have out-grown this space”) and the social concern (“we are doing this so that we can come together and solve Ghanaian issues”) and I can definitely see how BloggingGhana members can use this hub.
Eric Hersman, or White African as we know him, says about tech hubs in Africa:
“The tech hubs in Africa provide a home for those with new and innovative ideas, create an atmosphere where they are encouraged to try new things, and most importantly are able to meet like-minded individuals they can grow with.”
To sum up, iSpace is wonderful news for a community that is growing stronger by the day, but until now lacks a space to come together!
Read also Edward Tagoe’s informative post on iSpace, iSpace’s website or Google+ page. Other African tech hubs are listed with AfricaHubs.
I got this very poignant comment on my last post from fellow blogger AntiRhythm:
And that, Kajsa, is all there really is about it. The only prize in participation is not to win. When the best in the world turned up, Africa was there. And for a long time, we competed well. We were in the final 8. We were 1 kick from the final 4. Being number 1 in the football world would have had only limited (emotional) benefits. Now, let us compete favourably with the rest of the world in:
Growing our economies;
Deepening democratic values;
Restructuring education to ensure real social development;
Fighting health scourges, especially Malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB;
Eradicating neo-geopolitics (ethnocentricism)
Harnessing the powers Information Technology to accelerate development, etc.
I could not have said it better myself. All in all, there is a lot to do also after the World Cup in South Africa is over.
If you have any ideas on how to improve the continent, now is the time to put them on paper. UNESCO is calling for “ideas” to be presented in Paris in mid-June, see this call for 10 ideas for Africa.
The way to go about is it to choose a topic (UNESCO have provided the 10 to chose from, see below) and brainstorm out of there. I was most interested in Topic 1, 2 and 3 as they relate to my interests – new information technologies, policy and leadership, migration.
Each proposal is expected to develop one idea which would amplify the positive effects and reduce, or contain, the negative impacts of the major trends observed in Africa on one of the 10 following topics:
Topic 1: Economy and Development (Environment, Food Security, New Information and Communication Technologies…)
Topic 2: Governance, Policy, Institutions, Leadership
Topic 3: Regional Integration, Population, Migration, Urbanization
Topic 4: Cultural Identities (Languages, Religions…)
Topic 5: Youth
Topic 6: Human Rights, Gender and Justice
Topic 7: Diaspora
Topic 8: Peace, Security and Conflict
Topic 9: Health, Education and Social Development
Topic 10: International Relations
It seems like the perk for writing down your idea in less than 1000 words is the trip to Paris. Yeah, and a venue for spreading your BEST IDEA for THE CONTINENT!
Deadline is April 30th 2010.
What Topic would you choose?